At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Little Big Mouth 21oz is Specialized's best-selling bottle apparently, and while it isn't exactly ground-breaking (what is in the hydration world?) there is a lot to like, especially the leak-free poppet top.
The main thing I hate about carrying drinks on the bike are bottles that dribble, but that isn't an issue here with the Little Big Mouth as it seals completely. Both the screw cap and what Specialized calls the poppet top keep all of the liquid inside until you want it.
That poppet top is soft to the touch and is much nicer to pull up with your teeth than some of the hard plastic ones found on many other bottles. It also allows a decent flow of drink to pass through, although I'm not sure if the bottle has a whole allows a 50 per cent greater flow rate than other bottles on the market, as Specialized claims, in a side by side real world test.
The mouthpiece doesn't come apart for thorough cleaning, which might bother some people. The spout does come up quite high, though, so you can get in and around with a toothbrush for a quick clean up.
Another thing I like is the use of BPA-free plastic, which is made from 100% FDA food-grade materials, and Specialized also says that it is printed with non-solvent-based CPSC-approved ink and materials. This means there is nothing to taint the flavour of plain water or whatever liquid you have inside.
The printed pattern on this bottle is surprisingly robust – I thought it would start looking scratched after a few times of putting it in and out of the cage, but it has all remained intact, though the white body of the bottle has become a little scruffy, with light scratches retaining the dirt.
As well as this design, it's available in a grey/blue/red colourway or translucent with the Specialized logo, and you can also get that setup in black with a white lid.
If this 21oz (approximately 600ml) isn't large enough, there is also the 24oz (around 710ml) Big Mouth version, which costs £8.50.
Even on price the Little Big Mouth stacks up pretty well against the likes of Zefal's Sense Pro 65 bottle that John was impressed with, which costs 49p more, and the Skratch Labs CamelBak Podium, with an rrp of £7.95.
Overall, the Little Big Mouth delivers everything a bottle needs to really well. It's easy to fill up, easy to drink from, and doesn't leak.
Leak-free, taint-free bottle that'll stay put in your bottle cage
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized Little Big Mouth 21oz Water Bottle
Size tested: 21oz
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Specialized says, "Our best-selling bottle, the Little Big Mouth 21oz Bottle takes a revolutionary design and shrinks it down a bit. It's conveniently shaped and absolutely leak-proof. It has a tight-sealing Big Mouth screw top that's ultra-wide for adding things like ice or your hydration powder of choice. This piece also provides an incredible level of water flow that's up to 50% greater than the competition. Meanwhile, we gave the bottle a flexible, ergonomic design that grips to cages and fits easily in the hand, while the bottle's construction is made from BPA-free plastic that's 100% FDA food-grade approved."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tight-sealing Big Mouth screw top is wide enough for ice cubes and powder drink mix. Wide water channel delivers 50% greater flow than other leading bottles. Plus, improved functional outside grip.
Large, soft reliable poppet top is easy to activate, delivers excellent flow, and seals tight. 100% Leak Free
Easy to grip, more flexible than original Little Big Mouth
Also available in 24oz Big Mouth option
BPA-free plastic made from 100% FDA food-grade materials and printed with non-solvent base (UV cured), CPSC-approved ink and materials
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
No leaks, which is key when it comes to a quality bottle.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft spout is nice to drink from.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The spout doesn't come apart for cleaning.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's about the same price as similar size and easy to use bottles like the Zefal and Skratch I mention in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It does everything you need a quality bottle to do, though it doesn't come apart for cleaning like some of its competitors.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!